Sally Wessely's Reviews > Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnarvon
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Sep 03, 12

it was ok
Read in September, 2012

The book is interesting in many ways. It gave me great insight into the life and times of Lady Almina Carnarvon and the castle we all call Downton Abbey, but I also found the book lacking in many aspects. It is not written particularly well. In fact, I found a number of errors in the book that caused me to wonder if the author had an editor. I also found that I was sometimes confused about events and people that were discussed in the book. It seemed almost as if the author was looking at the guest book from the castle and writing a narrative based on entries in the guest book, or she loosely strung together tidbits she took from letters and tried to create the narrative of the story.

I was not previously aware of much of the history of Lady Almina, the wife of the Earl of Carnarvon who along with Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamun's tomb. I had not even linked the two of them to Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed, so I did enjoy learning the history of the people and the place. I also was interested in the part that Lady Almina played in caring for the wounded soldiers of WWI.

Despite the fact that I found the topics of the book interesting, I found the lack of focus and poor writing distraction enough to give the book a low rating.
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